Play therapy is based on a number of assumptions, the most important being that play is to children what language is to adults, and that children are able to express themselves more freely using play. This facilitates them to reveal their inner world in a safe and relaxed way.
Play can be used as an assessment tool but its greatest value lies in its importance in therapy as this offers opportunities for emotional growth and can reduce frightening and traumatic events by relieving anxiety and tension.
Through play, children are able to learn about the world and relationships as play provides an opportunity for reality testing, exploring emotions and finding one’s place in the family as well as the world
Our practice has a well-equipped play therapy room with a wide range of toys, including a big selection of miniature toys for play in the sandtray, a puppet theatre, doll’s house and art therapy materials.
The process usually begins with an interview with both parents, if possible or appropriate, to find out about the presenting problems and to obtain a social and personal history of the child.
This provides me with details about the child’s family and whether there have been significant changes or losses.
It is also important to find out about the child’s developmental and medical history.
Sessions are then set up to best suite all stakeholders. The first session is focused on introducing the child to the play therapy room and parents are encouraged to wait in the waiting-room, which is situated a few steps away from the play therapy room.